A VITAL youth homelessness hub will be set up in Coventry after Bardsley Youth Project received their Silver Award from the Christian Initiative Trust.
Now in its fourth year, the Christian Initiative Trust Awards encourage community groups with positive social impact ideas to apply – with the chance of winning a substantial prize of up to £25,000 to support them in bringing their ideas to life.
The Silver Award will see the Bardsley Youth Project granted £20,000 to help set up the homelessness hub.
Set up in 2003 to serve young people in Coventry, the Bardsley Youth Project was established to provide a safe and supportive environment for vulnerable young people living in the city centre.
The project runs a number of sessions and projects including drop-in sessions, money management courses, one-to-one support and a food bank.
Approximately 75 people benefit from the Bardsley Youth Project each month – many of whom had previously led a chaotic lifestyle at risk of homelessness.
Last year, Bardsley Youth Project noticed a significant increase in the numbers of young people struggling with homelessness – and one in ten young people they made contact with admitted to be struggling with homelessness.
Following the shocking discovery, a grant from Urban Hope Coventry allowed a report to investigate the scale of the problem.
After viewing the findings from the report, the project decided to open a Youth Homelessness Hub in Bardsley House and applied to the Christian Initiative Trust Awards to help fund the venture.
Pat Clarke, Bardsley Youth Project administrator said: “We want to be the place in Coventry that young people know they can always come to get help and have someone to stand with them as they navigate the complex statutory system.
“Somewhere as well to get practical help with moving on – setting up a youth homelessness hub at our project will do this.
“This award has kick started our dreams and provided the encouragement and impetus needed.
“It gives us credibility as ‘new kids on the block’ and we are already working with existing providers to find the right staff to get this up and running.”